How to be ready for offline work with a Chromebook


Alter a handful of settings, install an extension, choose files and you can perform without having an web relationship on a Chromebook.

Image and Illustration: Andy Wolber/TechRepublic

Chromebooks are created to work finest with an world-wide-web link. Start out your method, open the Chrome browser and all the methods of the internet are yours to obtain. Google built Chromebooks to be quickly, secure and easy to use. Technique updates that install with a restart are calculated in seconds.

You can do a whole lot with a Chromebook offline, far too, including working with Gmail, Travel, Docs, Sheets, Slides and Drawings. But considering that the gadget presumes an world-wide-web relationship, you want to acquire a couple of measures to make positive applications and data are out there offline. To put together your Chromebook for offline do the job, make confident your procedure is up-to-day and linked to the internet. Also make guaranteed you’ve signed in to your Chromebook with the Google account you program to use offline, then explore the different settings and features that allow you get the job done offline, as explained under.

Take note: If you use a Google Workspace account, be aware that an administrator can reduce offline accessibility to details and apps. So if you use your Chromebook with an account related with operate or college and any of the configurations aren’t readily available, examine with your Workspace administrator.

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Gmail offline

Go to Gmail offline options and check out the box following to Allow Offline Mail (Determine A). If ideal, alter the quantity of mail to make out there offline. Pick out Preserve. Next, go to your inbox, then press Ctrl+D to develop a bookmark to return to your synced mail when offline. Wait around until finally the procedure shows the circle with a checkbox to point out a effective sync (Determine I, top rated). Return to the bookmark you created before to read through, reply to or publish Gmail when offline. Mail you “deliver” while offline will be stored in the outbox and ship when you reconnect to the web.

Figure A

Screenshot of Gmail | Settings | Offline with box checked. Store email from the last 90 days selected, and the option selected to Keep offline data on my computer.

Initial, enable offline mail.

Google Calendar offline

Go to Calendar | Settings | Basic | Offline and decide on the box subsequent to Flip On Offline Calendar (Figure B). Hold out until eventually the technique shows the circle with a checkbox to show that latest files have been synced to your process. When offline, go to Google Calendar to display screen all synced activities and details.

Determine B

Screenshot of Google Calendar | Offline | Turn on offline calendar box selected.

Future, switch on offline calendar access.

Google Push, Docs, Sheets, Slides and Drawings offline

Observe the website link to the Google Docs Offline extension, select Insert To Chrome, then pick out Incorporate Extension to entire the set up. If the system displays Clear away From Chrome (Determine C), you now have it set up.

Determine C

Screenshot of the Google Docs Offline extension, which indicates it has been installed by more than 10 million users.

Put in the Google Docs Offline extension from the Chrome world-wide-web retailer.

In addition, go to Travel | Settings (sprocket in the upper ideal) settings and check the box following to Produce, Open, And Edit Your New Google Docs, Sheets, And Slides Data files On This System While Offline (Figure D). Once more, wait right until the system displays the circle with a checkbox to point out that modern data files have been synced to your system (Figure I, base).

Determine D

Screenshot of the Google Drive | Settings | General | Offline with checkbox next to "Create, open, and edit your recent Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides files on this device while offline" selected.

Help the Google Travel offline placing.

On a Chromebook, you have two methods to pick particular goods for offline access—either Google Drive on the internet or the Chrome Information application (Determine E). Even though in Google Drive in Chrome, select (one click) a file or folder, then select the three-vertical dot menu and adjust the Available offline slides to sync the merchandise offline. To validate out there offline files, decide on the offline status indicator (the circle with a check out in it) and transfer the slider to the suitable.

Alternatively, from the Documents application on your Chromebook, find (one simply click) a file or folder, then move the slider following to Accessible offline to the right. To confirm readily available offline objects from the Information application, decide on the Offline pin icon (from the bottom of the left-facet menu) under Google Drive.

Figure E

Screenshot of Google Drive, with 5 of 6 files in a folder available offline (left) and right-clicked menu that displays the "Available offline" slider, and (right) 6 files in the same folder on the right, with Available offline indicated in the settings at the top.

On a Chromebook, you may well make documents obtainable offline possibly from Google Drive on the world wide web (still left) or from the Files application created into Chrome OS (suitable).

To make a new product (i.e., Doc, Sheet, Slide, Slide or Drawing) when offline, go to Google Drive and pick the +New button, then pick the variety of doc to develop (Determine F). As you function on your file, the method will screen a Saved To This Product indicator to the appropriate of the file name (in the upper remaining) as you make alterations. 

Figure F

Screenshot of Google Drive with +New selected, and Google Docs | Blank document menu option displayed.

You may possibly build new Google Docs, Sheets, Slides and Drawings whilst offline on a Chromebook.

Now, you’ve got concluded the principles. When you’re related to the world wide web, your system will sync the latest Gmail and Drive documents and make them readily available for offline obtain.

Webpages offline

When on the net with an write-up or submit you want to examine later displayed in your browser, find the Star icon (in the higher appropriate) then select Insert To Examining Listing to help save the contents offline (Figure G, top). When offline, make guaranteed your bookmarks bar is shown (Shift+Ctrl+B), then find the Looking at record (on the suitable aspect of exhibited bookmarks). Decide on an short article from the listing to study (Figure G, bottom).

Determine G

Screenshot with the Star selected and both "Add bookmark" and "Add to reading list" option displayed (top). At bottom: Reading list selected from bookmark bar, with title of the saved web page article displayed in the list.

Decide on the star and then opt for +Add to looking at listing (leading) to conserve website articles to read. Accessibility the listing from the right side of the bookmark bar (base).

Android apps

Quite a few Chromebooks allow you to set up Android apps, and many Android applications keep data for offline use by default. Google Calendar, Google Preserve and Google Jobs (Determine H) all sync facts and do the job offline. Notably, while the Google Calendar net app is watch-only, the Google Calendar Android application lets you to build and edit appointments and then syncs when reconnected to the online.

Determine H

Screenshot of Calendar (left), Keep (middle) and Tasks (right) Android apps installed and active on a Chromebook.

Set up Android apps, these as Google Calendar, Google Maintain, and Google Duties, to leverage these apps’ potential to sync knowledge offline.

Sync just before you disconnect

As a precaution, I advocate you look at the sync position (go to Gmail and Google Travel in Chrome and make guaranteed the circle with a checkmark displays, as revealed in Determine I) promptly just before you go offline to guarantee your facts is existing. Equally, for Android applications, open the application and give it time to sync ahead of you disconnect from the web.

Figure I

Screenshot of the underlined and circled checkmark displayed on both Gmail (top), to the left of the email count indicator (in the upper right area of the page), and Google Drive (bottom), to the left of the circled question mark help indicator.

Evaluation the sync position for Gmail (major) and Travel (base). If the technique displays animated arrows, alternatively of the underlined and circled checkmark, that suggests a sync is in development.

Soon after you’ve completed all the earlier mentioned steps, you might acquire your Chromebook offline whenever: Simply click on the time (in the reduce correct), pick Options (the sprocket), then move the slider future to Wi-Fi to the left (i.e., Off). 

What is actually your practical experience?

If you use a Chromebook, how typically do you use it with out net access? Do you actively consider it offline in purchase to get do the job carried out? Have you uncovered offline access to facts and apps helpful when you travel? Are there precise Android apps you use when offline? Allow me know how you use your Chromebook without net obtain, possibly with a comment down below or on Twitter (@awolber). 

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